Chapter 13 Appointing A Sales Agents

Introduction

Selling a product through an overseas agent is a very successful strategy. Sales agents are available on commission basis for any sales they make. The key benefit of using an overseas sales agent is that you get the advantage of their extensive knowledge of the target market. Sales agent also provides support to an exporter in the matter of transportation, reservation of accommodation, appointment with the government as and when required. It is, therefore, essential that one should very carefully select overseas agent.

Merits of Appointing a Sales Agent

There are various types of merits associated with appointed a sales agent for export purpose are as follow:

  • Sales agent avoids the recruitment, training, time and payroll costs of using own employees to enter an overseas market.
  • An agent is a better option to identify and exploit opportunities in overseas export market.
  • An agent already have solid relationships with potential buyers, hence it saves the time of the exporter to build own contacts.
  • An agent allows an exporter to maintain more control over matters such as final price and brand image – compared with the other intermediary option of using a distributor.

Demerits of Appointing a Sales Agent

There are also certain disadvantages associated with appointing a sales agent for export purpose which are as follows:

  • After-sales service can be difficult when selling through an intermediary.
  • There is a risk for exporter to lose some control over marketing and brand image.

Important Points While Appointing a Sales Agent:
Appointing right sales agent not only enhance the profit of an exporter but also avoid any of risks associated with a sales agent. So it becomes important for an exporter to take into consideration following important points before selection an appropriate sales agent for his product.

  • Size of the agent’s company.
  • Date of foundation of the agent’s company.
  • Company’s ownership and control.
  • Company’s capital, funds, available and liabilities.
  • Name, age and experience of the company’s senior executives.
  • Number, age and experience of the company’s salesman.
  • Oher agencies that the company holds, including those of competing products and turn-over of each.
  • Length of company’s association with other principal.
  • New agencies that the company obtained or lost during the past year.
  • Company’s total annual sales and the trends in its sales in recent years.
  • Company’s sales coverage, overall and by area.
  • Number of sales calls per month and per salesman by company staff.
  • Any major obstacles expected in the company’s sales growth.
  • Agent’s capability to provide sales promotion and advertising services
  • Agent’s transport facilities and warehousing capacity.
  • Agent’s rate of commission; payment terms required.
  • References on the agents from banks, trade associations and major buyers.

Some source of Information on Agents is:

  • Government Departments Trade Associations.
  • Chambers of Commerce.
  • Banks.
  • Independent Consultants.
  • Export Promotion Councils.
  • Advertisement Abroad.

Agent v Distributor
There is a fundamental legal difference between agents and distributors and an exporter should not confuse between the two. An agent negotiates on the behalf of an exporter and may be entitled to create a legal relationship between exporter and the importer

A distributor buys goods on its own account from exporter and resells those products to customers. It is the distributor which has the sale contract with the customer not the exporter. In the case of distributor, an exporter is free from any kinds of risks associated with the finance.

 

Chapter 12 Understanding of Foreign Exchange Rates.

Introduction

An exporter without any commercial contract is completely exposed of foreign exchange risks that arises due to the probability of an adverse change in exchange rates. Therefore, it becomes important for the exporter to gain some knowledge about the foreign exchange rates, quoting of exchange rates and various factors determining the exchange rates. In this section, we have discussed various topics related to foreign exchange rates in detail.

Spot Exchange Rate
Also known as “benchmark rates”, “straightforward rates” or “outright rates”, spot rates represent the price that a buyer expects to pay for a foreign currency in another currency. Settlement in case of spot rate is normally done within one or two working days.

Forward Exchange Rate
The forward exchange rate refers to an exchange rate that is quoted and traded today but for delivery and payment on a specific future date.

Method of Quoting Exchange Rates
There are two methods of quoting exchange rates:

  • Direct Quotation: In this system, variable units of home currency equivalent to a fixed unit of foreign currency are quoted.
    For example: US $ 1= Rs. 42.75
  • Indirect Quotation: In this system, variable units of foreign currency as equivalent to a fixed unit of home currency are quoted.
    For example: US $ 2.392= Rs. 100

Before 1993, banks were required to quote all the rates on indirect basis as foreign currency equivalent to RS. 100 but after 1993 banks are quoting rates on direct basis only.

Exchange Rate Regime

The exchange rate regime is a method through which a country manages its currency in respect to foreign currencies and the foreign exchange market.

  • Fixed Exchange Rate
    A fixed exchange rate is a type of exchange rate regime in which a currency’s value is matched to the value of another single currency or any another measure of value, such as gold. A fixed exchange rate is also known as pegged exchange rate. A currency that uses a fixed exchange rate is known as a fixed currency. The opposite of a fixed exchange rate is a floating exchange rate.
  • Floating Exchange Rate
    A Floating Exchange Rate is a type of exchange rate regime wherein a currency’s value is allowed to fluctuate according to the foreign exchange market. A currency that uses a floating exchange rate is known as a floating currency. A Floating Exchange Rate or a flexible exchange rate and is opposite to the fixed exchange rate.
  • Linked Exchange Rate
    A linked exchange rate system is used to equlise the exchange rate of a currency to another. Linked Exchange Rate system is implemented in Hong Kong to stabilise the exchange rate between the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) and the United States dollar (USD).

Forward Exchange Contracts
A Forward Exchange Contract is a contract between two parties (the Bank and the customer). One party contract to sell and the other party contracts to buy, one currency for another, at an agreed future date, at a rate of exchange which is fixed at the time the contract is entered into.

Benefits of Forward Exchange Contract

  • Contracts can be arranged to either buy or sell a foreign currency against your domestic currency, or against another foreign currency.
  • Available in all major currencies.
  • Available for any purpose such as trade, investment or other current commitments.
  • Forward exchange contracts must be completed by the customer. A customer requiring more flexibility may wish to consider Foreign Currency Options.

Foreign Currency Options
Foreign Currency Options is a hedging tool that gives the owner the right to buy or sell the indicated amount of foreign currency at a specified price before a specific date. Like forward contracts, foreign currency options also eliminate the spot market risk for future transactions. A currency option is no different from a stock option except that the underlying asset is foreign exchange. The basic premises remain the same: the buyer of option has the right but no obligation to enter into a contract with the seller. Therefore the buyer of a currency option has the right, to his advantage, to enter into the specified contract.

Flexible Forwards
Flexible Forward is a part of foreign exchange that has been developed as an alternative to forward exchange contracts and currency options. The agreement for flexible forwards is always singed between two parties (the ‘buyer’ of the flexible forward and the ‘seller’ of the flexible forward) to exchange a specified amount (the ‘face value’) of one currency for another currency at a foreign exchange rate that is determined in accordance with the mechanisms set out in the agreement at an agreed time and an agreed date (the ‘expiry time’ on the ‘expiry date’). The exchange then takes place approximately two clear business days later on the ‘delivery date’).

Currency Swap
A currency swap which is also known as cross currency swap is a foreign exchange agreement between two countries to exchange a given amount of one currency for another and, after a specified period of time, to give back the original amounts swapped.

Foreign Exchange Markets
The foreign exchange markets are usually highly liquid as the world’s main international banks provide a market around-the-clock. The Bank for International Settlements reported that global foreign exchange market turnover daily averages in April was $650 billion in 1998 (at constant exchange rates) and increased to $1.9 trillion in 2004 [1]. Trade in global currency markets has soared over the past three years and is now worth more than $3.2 trillion a day. The biggest foreign exchange trading centre is London, followed by New York and Tokyo.

 

Chapter 11 Export Pricing And Costing

Introduction

Pricing and costing are two different things and an exporter should not confuse between the two. Price is what an exporter offer to a customer on particular products while cost is what an exporter pay for manufacturing the same product.

Export pricing is the most important factor in for promoting export and facing international trade competition. It is important for the exporter to keep the prices down keeping in mind all export benefits and expenses. However, there is no fixed formula for successful export pricing and is differ from exporter to exporter depending upon whether the exporter is a merchant exporter or a manufacturer exporter or exporting through a canalising agency.

Determining Export Pricing

Export Pricing can be determine by the following factors:

  • Range of products offered.
  • Prompt deliveries and continuity in supply.
  • After-sales service in products like machine tools, consumer durables.
  • Product differentiation and brand image.
  • Frequency of purchase.
  • Presumed relationship between quality and price.
  • Specialty value goods and gift items.
  • Credit offered.
  • Preference or prejudice for products originating from a particular source.
  • Aggressive marketing and sales promotion.
  • Prompt acceptance and settlement of claims.
  • Unique value goods and gift items.

Export Costing
Export Costing is basically Cost Accountant’s job. It consists of fixed cost and variable cost comprising various elements. It is advisable to prepare an export costing sheet for every export product.

As regards quoting the prices to the overseas buyer, the same are quoted in the following internationally accepted terms which are commonly known as Incoterm.

 

Chapter 10 Exporting Product Samples

Introduction
The foreign customer may ask for product samples before placing a confirmed order. So, it is essential that the samples are made from good quality raw materials and after getting an order, the subsequent goods are made with the same quality product.

Extra care should be taken in order to avoid the risk associated in sending a costly product sample for export. Secrecy is also an important factor while sending a sample, especially if there is a risk of copying the original product during export.

Before exporting a product sample an exporter should also know the Government policy and procedures for export of samples.

While sending a product sample to an importer, it is always advised to send samples by air mail to avoid undue delay. However, if the time is not an issue then the product sample can also be exported through proper postal channel, which is cheaper as compared to the air mail.

Sending Export Samples from India

Samples having permanent marking as “sample not for sale” are allowed freely for export without any limit. However, in such cases where indelible marking is not available, the samples may be allowed for a value not exceeding US $ 10,000, per consignment.

For export of sample products which are restricted for export as mentioned in the ITC (HS) Code, an application may be made to the office of Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Export of samples to be sent by post parcel or air freight is further divided into following 3 categories, and under each category an exporter is required to fulfill certain formalities which are mentioned below :

  1. Samples of value up to Rs.10, 000- It is necessary for the exporter to file a simple declaration that the sample does not involve foreign exchange and its value is less than Rs. 10,000.
  2. Samples of value less than Rs. 25,000- It is necessary for the exporter to obtain a value certificate from the authorised dealer in foreign exchange (i.e. your bank). For this purpose, an exporter should submit a commercial invoice certifying thereon that the parcel does not involve foreign exchange and the aggregate value of the samples exported by you does not exceed Rs. 25,000 in the current calendar year.
  3. Samples of value more than Rs. 25,000- It becomes necessary for the exporter to obtain GR/PP waiver from the Reserve Bank of India

Export Samples against Payment
A sample against which an overseas buyer agrees to make payment is exported in the same manner as the normal goods are exported. Sample can also be carried personally by you while travelling abroad provided these are otherwise permissible or cleared for export as explained earlier. However, in case of precious jewellery or stone the necessary information should be declared to the custom authorities while leaving the country and obtain necessary endorsement on export certificate issued by the Jewelry Appraiser of the Customs.

Export of Garment Samples
As per the special provision made for the export of garment samples, only those exporters are allowed to send samples that are registered with the Apparel export Promotion Council (AEPC). Similarly, for export of wool it is necessary for the exporter to have registration with the Woolen Export Promotion Council.

Export of Software
All kinds electronic and computer software product samples can only be exported abroad, if the exporter dealing with these products is registered with the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC)

Similarly samples of other export products can be exported abroad under the membership of various Export Promotion Councils (EPC) of India.

 

Chapter 9 Export Sales Leads

Introduction

Export Sales leads are initial contacts a seller or exporter seeks in order to finalize a deal or agreement for export of goods and are considered as the first step in the entire sales process. After getting the first lead, a company should respond to that lead in a very carefully manner in order to convert that opportunity into real export deal.

Generating Sales Leads

Sales leads can be generated either through a word-of-mouth or internet research or trade show participation.

Qualifying sales leads

As the buyer is far away and sometimes communication process can be difficult, so it’s always better to make an extra effort to understand the exact need of the customer.

Sending Acknowledgement

After receiving a lead it is quite important to acknowledge the enquirer within 48 hours of receiving the enquiry either through e-mail or fax. Acknowledgement also gives an option to provide further detail about the product or to make an enquiry about the buyer.

Responding with quality products

Quality products strengthen buyer seller relationship, so it’s always better to provide quality products to the buyers.

Follow Ups

Always try to be in touch with the buyer or customer. For this purpose one can ask a phone number and a convenient time to call. It is always better to make the call in the presence of an Export Adviser. One should avoid high pressure call during follow up.

 

Chapter 8 Myths About Exporting

Introduction

Many first time exporters or firm managers believe the myths about exporting  that it’s too difficult or too costly to sell their product in a foreign country. But given below the some of the important facts that will help a first time exporter to clear all his misconceptions.

  1. Myth: I Am Too Small to Export

Only large firms with name recognition, abundant resources, and formal export departments can export successfully.

It is true that large firms typically account for far more total exports but the real fact is that vast majority of exporting firms in most countries are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

  1. Myth: I Cannot Afford to Export

I don’t have the money for hiring new employees, for marketing abroad, or expanding production for new business.

There are various low-cost ways to market and promote abroad, handle new export orders, and finance receivables. This does not require hiring new staff or setting up an export department. At little or no cost for example, you can receive product and country market research, worldwide market exposure, generate trade leads, and find qualified overseas distributors through various Commodity Boards and Export Promotion Councils.

  1. Myth: I Cannot Compete With Large Overseas Companies

My products are unknown and my prices are too high for foreign markets.

If the product is known in the domestic market then it’s a plus point but even an unknown product can be exported in a foreign market. Low demand of a product doesn’t indicates that it will be also not accepted in the international market.

Price is also an important, but it is not the only selling point. Other competitive factors play a large role including quality, service, and consumer taste – these may override price. Also prices of a product may not be relatively high in countries with a strong currency, as in the European Union.

  1. Myth: Exporting is Too Risky

I might not get paid.

Selling anywhere has risks even in the domestic market, but it can be reduced with reasonable precautions. To assure you get paid, use Letters of Credit (L/Cs). A L/C is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase. Proper documentation can minimize the risk associated with the export business.

  1. Myth: Exporting is Too Complicated

Exporting is too complicated; I won’t understand the laws and documentation requirements.

You don’t need to be an expert to export. There is an abundance of resources available online that helps the first time exporter about all ins and outs of the export operations. Government of India and its associated agencies like Commodity Boards and Export Promotion Councils also provide guidelines to the exporters.

Chapter 7 Export License

Introduction

An export license is a document issued by the appropriate licensing agency after which an exporter is allowed to transport his product in a foreign market. The license is only issued after a careful review of the facts surrounding the given export transaction. Export license depends on the nature of goods to be transported as well as the destination port. So, being an exporter it is necessary to determine whether the product or good to be exported requires an export license or not. While making the determination one must consider the following necessary points:

  •  What are you exporting?
  • Where are you exporting?
  • Who will receive your item?
  • What will your items will be used?

Canalisation

Canalisation is an important feature of Export License under which certain goods can be imported only by designated agencies. For an example, an item like gold, in bulk, can be imported only by specified banks like SBI and some foreign banks or designated agencies.

Application for an Export License

To determine whether a license is needed to export a particular commercial product or service, an exporter must first classify the item by identifying what is called ITC (HS) Classifications. Export license are only issued for the goods mentioned in the Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) Classifications of Export and Import items. A proper application can be submitted to the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The Export Licensing Committee under the Chairmanship of Export Commissioner considers such applications on merits for issue of export licenses.

Exports Free unless regulated

The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) from time to time specifies through a public notice according to which any goods, not included in the ITC (HS) Classifications of Export and Import items may be exported without a license. Such terms and conditions may include Minimum Export Price (MEP), registration with specified authorities, quantitative ceilings and compliance with other laws, rules, regulations.

Chapter 6 Registration of Exporters

Once all the research and analysis is done its time to get registered with the various government authorities.

Registration with Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Prior to 1997, it was necessary for every first time exporter to obtain IEC number from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before engaging in any kind of export operations. But now this job is being done by DGFT.

Registration with Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)
For every first time exporter, it is necessary to get registered with the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.

DGFT provide exporter a unique IEC Number. IEC Number is a ten digits code required for the purpose of export as well as import. No exporter is allowed to export his good abroad without IEC number.

However, if the goods are exported to Nepal, or to Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar boarder or to China through Gunji, Namgaya, Shipkila or Nathula ports then it is not necessary to obtain IEC number provided the CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian amount of Rs. 25, 000 /-.

Application for IEC number can be submitted to the nearest regional authority of DGFT.
Application form which is known as “Aayaat Niryaat Form – ANF2A” can also be submitted online at the DGFT web-site: http://dgft.gov.in.

While submitting an application form for IEC number, an applicant is required to submit his PAN account number. Only one IEC is issued against a single PAN number. Apart from PAN number, an applicant is also required to submit his Current Bank Account number and Bankers Certificate.

A amount of Rs 1000/- is required to submit with the application fee. This amount can be submitted in the form of a Demand Draft or payment through EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer by Nominated Bank by DGFT.

Registration with Export Promotion Council

Registered under the Indian Company Act, Export Promotion Councils or EPC is a non-profit organisation for the promotion of various goods exported from India in international market. EPC works in close association with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and act as a platform for interaction between the exporting community and the government.

So, it becomes important for an exporter to obtain a registration cum membership certificate (RCMC) from the EPC. An application for registration should be accompanied by a self certified copy of the IEC number. Membership fee should be paid in the form of cheque or draft after ascertaining the amount from the concerned EPC.

The RCMC certificate is valid from 1st April of the licensing year in which it was issued and shall be valid for five years ending 31st March of the licensing year, unless otherwise specified.

Registration with Commodity Boards

Commodity Board is registered agency designated by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India for purposes of export-promotion and has offices in India and abroad. At present, there are five statutory Commodity Boards under the Department of Commerce. These Boards are responsible for production, development and export of tea, coffee, rubber, spices and tobacco.

Registration with Income Tax Authorities
Goods exported out of the country are eligible for exemption from both Value Added Tax and Central Sales Tax. So, to get the benefit of tax exemption it is important for an exporter to get registered with the Tax Authorities.

 

Chapter 5 SWOT Analysis

Introduction

SWOT analysis is a useful method of summaries all the information generated during the export planning. SWOT stands for strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats, which helps to isolate the strong and week areas within an export strategy. SWOT also indicates the future opportunities or threats that may exist in the chosen markets and is instrumental in strategy formulation and selection.

To apply your own SWOT analysis, start by creating a heading for each category – ‘Strengths’, ‘Weaknesses’, ‘Opportunities’, and ‘Threats’. Under each of these, write a list of five relevant aspects of your business and external market environment. Strengths and weaknesses apply to internal aspects of your business; opportunities and threats relate to external research.

Your final analysis should help you develop short and long term business goals and action plans, and help guide your market selection process.

Environmental factors internal to the company can be classified as strengths or weaknesses, and those external to the company can be classified as opportunities or threats.

Strengths

Business strengths are its resources and capabilities that can be used as a basis for developing a competitive-advantage. Examples of such strengths include:

  • Patents
  • Strong brand names.
  • Good reputation among customers.
  • Cost advantages from proprietary know-how.
  • Exclusive access to high grade natural resources.
  • Favorable access to distribution networks.

Weaknesses

The absence of certain strengths may be viewed as a weakness. For example, each of the following may be considered weaknesses:

  • Lack of patent protection.
  • A weak brand name.
  • Poor reputation among customers.
  • High cost structure.
  • Lack of access to the best natural resources.
  • Lack of access to key distribution channels.

Opportunities

The external environmental analysis may reveal certain new opportunities for profit and growth. Some examples of such opportunities include:

  • An unfulfilled customer need.
  • Arrival of new technologies.
  • Loosening of regulations.
  • Removal of international trade barriers.

 Threats

Changes in the external environmental also may present threats to the firm. Some examples of such threats include:

  • Shifts in consumer tastes away from the firm’s products
  • Emergence of substitute products.
  • New regulations.
  • Increased trade barriers

Successful SWOT Analysis
Simple rules for successful SWOT analysis:

  • Be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of the organization.
  • Analysis should distinguish between where the organization is today, and where it could be in the future.
  • Be specific.
  • Always analyse in relation to your competition i.e. better than or worse than your competition.
  • Keep your SWOT short and simple.

A SWOT analysis can be very subjective, and is an excellent tool for indicating the negative factors first in order to turn them into positive factors.

 

Chapter 4 Market Selection

Introduction

After evaluation of company’s key capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, the next step is to start evaluating opportunities in promising export markets. It involves the screening of large lists of countries in order to arrive at a short list of four to five. The shorting method should be done on the basis of various political, economic and cultural factors that will potentially affect export operations in chosen market.

Some factors to consider include:

  1. Geographical Factors
    • Country, state, region,
    • Time zones,
    • Urban/rural location logistical considerations e.g. freight and distribution channels
  2. Economic, Political, and Legal Environmental Factors
    • Regulations including quarantine,
    • Labelling standards,
    • Standards and consumer protection rules,
    • Duties and taxes
  3. Demographic Factors
    • Age and gender,
    • Income and family structure,
    • Occupation,
    • Cultural beliefs,
    • Major competitors,
    • Similar products,
    • Key brands.
  4. Market Characteristics
    • Market size,
    • Availability of domestic manufacturers,
    • Agents, distributors and suppliers.

Foreign Market Research

Understanding a market’s key characteristics requires gathering a broad range of primary and secondary research, much of which you can source without cost from the internet.

Primary research, such as population figures, product compliance standards, statistics and other facts can be obtained without any cost from international organizations like United Nations (UN) and World Trade Organizations (WTO). Analysis of export statistics over a period of several years helps an individual to determine whether the market for a particular product is growing or shrinking.

Secondary research, such as periodicals, studies, market reports and surveys, can be found through government websites, international organisations, and commercial market intelligence firms.

Foreign Market Selection Process

Step 1: Gather Information on a Broad Range of Markets

Market selection process requires a broad range of informations depending upon the products or services to be exported, which includes:

  • The demand for product/service.
  • The size of the potential audience.
  • Whether the target audience can affords product.
  • What the regulatory issues are that impact on exports of product.
  • Ease of access to this market – proximity/freight.
  • Are there appropriate distribution channels for product/service.
  • The environment for doing business – language, culture, politics etc.
  • Is it financially viable to export to selected market.

You can gather much of the first step information yourself from a variety of sources at little or no cost. Sources of information include:

  • Talking to colleagues and other exporters.
  • Trade and Enterprise – web site, publications, call centre.
  • The library.
  • The Internet.

Step 2: Research a Selection of Markets In-Depth

From the results of the first stage, narrow your selection down to three to five markets and undertake some in-depth research relating specifically to your product. While doing so, some of the questions that may arise at this stage are:

  • What similar products are in the marketplace (including products that may not be similar but are used to achieve the same goal, e.g. the product in our sample matrix at the end of this document is a hair removal cream. As well as undertaking competitor research on other hair removal creams, we would also need to consider other products that are used for hair removal, i.e. razors, electrolysis, wax).
  • What is your point of difference? What makes your product unique? What are the key selling points for your product?
  • How do people obtain/use these products?
  • Who provides them?
  • Are they imported? If so from which countries?
  • Is there a local manufacturer or provider?
  • Who would your major competitors be? What are the key brands or trade names?
  • What is the market’s structure and shape?
  • What is the market’s size?
  • Are there any niche markets, and if so how big are they?
  • Who are the major importers/ stockists / distributors / agencies or suppliers?
  • What are the other ways to obtain sales/representation?
  • What are the prices or fees in different parts of the market?
  • What are the mark-ups at different distribution levels?
  • What are the import regulations, duties or taxes, including compliance and professional registrations if these apply?
  • How will you promote your product or service if there is a lot of competition?
  • Are there any significant trade fairs, professional gathers or other events where you can promote your product or service?
  • Packaging – do you need to change metric measures to imperial, do you need to list ingredients?
  • Will you need to translate promotional material and packaging?
  • Is your branding – colours, imagery etc., culturally acceptable?

Foreign Market Selection Entry

Having completed the market selection process and chosen your target market, the next step is to plan your entry strategy.
There are a number of options for entering your chosen market. Most exporters initially choose to work through agents or distributors. In the longer term, however, you may consider other options, such as taking more direct control of your market, more direct selling or promotion, or seeking alliances or agreements.